Fire Danger Climbs to High with Drier & Hotter Weather Conditions

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Date: June 24, 2015
Contact: Public Affairs Office, 307.739.3393

Teton Interagency fire managers have elevated the fire danger rating to HIGH for the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park, and all of Teton County, Wyoming. The potential for fire activity has increased due to drying vegetation combined with higher temperatures, low humidity and brisk afternoon winds. The Teton Interagency Fire area typically does not reach high fire danger prior to mid-July. However, several factors led to the early rise in fire danger, including early melt of the winter snowpack, unseasonably warm temperatures, and scant rainfall during the past several days.

As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, visitors and local residents are reminded that fireworks are not permitted in Grand Teton National Park, on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, in Teton or Sublette counties, or on state lands. Possessing or using any kind of fireworks on U.S. Forest Service lands carries a $225 fine and a mandatory court appearance. It is critical that everyone obey the fireworks prohibition, especially given the dry and hot weather conditions predicted for the Jackson Hole area during the coming week and beyond.

A high fire danger rating means that fires can start easily and spread quickly. When determining fire danger, fire managers use several indices such as: the moisture content of grasses, shrubs and trees; projected weather conditions (including temperatures and possible wind events); the ability of fire to spread after ignition; and availability of firefighting resources across the country.

Along with the fireworks prohibition on public and county lands, campers are reminded that unattended or abandoned campfires can easily escalate into wildfires. Campers and day users should never leave a fire unattended, and always have a shovel on hand and a water bucket ready for use. All campfires must be completely extinguished and cold to the touch before leaving a site.

Campers have abandoned 21 campfires on the Bridger-Teton National Forest and in Grand Teton National Park so far this summer. The fine for an abandoned campfire is $225, but campers can also be held liable for suppression costs if their campfire becomes a wildfire. Local residents and area visitors should exercise caution and practice heightened fire safety at all times.

To report a fire or smoke in Bridger-Teton National Forest or Grand Teton National Park, call the Teton Interagency Dispatch Center at 307.739.3630. For more fire information, visit the Web at http://gacc.nifc.gov/egbc/dispatch/wy-tdc/index.html or www.tetonfires.com or follow GrandTetonNPS or BridgerTetonNF on Twitter.

Last updated: June 24, 2015

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